Genetic and Molecular Studies of the Phlebotomus Fever Group of Viruses.
Final rept. 1 Mar-31 Jul 84,
ALABAMA UNIV IN BIRMINGHAM
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Studies supported by this contract have reported the characterization of the structural components of several Phlebotomus fever serogroup viruses viral polypeptides and RNA species. The viruses studied include Punta Toro PT, Karimabad KAR, Charges CHG, Sandfly fever Sicilian SFS Tesh and Sabin isolates. Sandfly fever Naples SFN, Rift Valley fever RVF, Phlebotomus 3 virus Phl 3, Icoraci ICO and Buenaventura BUE viruses. In summary, the evidence has shown that the viruses have 3 virion RNA species large, L, 2.6-2.8x10 to the 6th power, medium, M, 1.85-2.2x10 to the 6th power and small, S, 0.7-0.8x10 to the 6th power, which are comparable in number to those of other members of the family, but different in size for the S RNA which is significantly larger than the S RNA of Bunyavirus genus members i.e., 0.4-0.5x10 to the 6th power. The studies have also shown that, although the nucleocapsid, N, polypeptides of Phlebotomus fever group viruses 20-24x10 to the third power daltons are similar in size to those of bunyaviruses, the glycoproteins G1, G2, 57-69x10 to the third power daltons are quite different e.g., bunyaviruses G1 115x10 to the third power, and G2 38x10 to the third power daltons. With the demonstration of a tripartite RNA genome, genetic analyses were also undertaken in order to determine the coding strategies of the 3 RNA species and determine if recombinant viruses could be obtained and used for vaccine purposes.